The Daily WORD is DEMON
Leaning over my third-floor balcony, I see that two lawn events are booked back-to-back. The Christian five-hour prayer and praise service is over, but the pastor stays to cast out a demon. Two women in faded saris hold a young girl to a chair while the pastor, clad in white, jumps and screams in her face. The girl writhes and vomits. Her captors look implacable. The pastor increases the volume. The girl retches again. I am revolted but rooted until I think the demon may jump on my balcony, chase me into my room, and get tangled in the mosquito netting. Four cardinals and a pope may be required to exorcise such an infestation.
I step back and focus on the other booking: a Hindu engagement party. Arriving guests stream around the demon-possessed girl. They do not stare as we do at a train wreck or avert their eyes as we do when a wheelchair rolls by. Hindus have their spectacular rituals; Christians have theirs. Here, both religions are peaceful, non judgmental. And, really, what is there to see? A girl held down and screamed at? A child vomiting? Non-events in a land where life is lived on sidewalks, alleys, and inside flimsy huts. All have heard the screams of birth, the dirges of death.
I go downstairs so I, too, can wish the feted couple a thousand splendid sons. Incense has cleared the air of demons, and the afflicted child is carried off in the arms of her father.
Just another day in Nagpur, India